Henrico County proposes partial tax relief incentive

By Andy Jenks - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Henrico County is talking about tax relief for certain homeowners. This comes in a time when revenues are already down and many wonder if now is the best time for the county to move forward with tax relief.

The county says yes and the reason has to do with a long-term vision. The county predicts that a tax break for homeowners now, will help improve the overall tax base over time older neighborhoods are common in the near west end of Henrico.

Margie Brickey would know having lived in the Buckingham Park area since 1960.

"We have some original homeowners as well as some of the people that moved in later, and they are elderly and they don't have the resources to keep up their homes," said Brickey.

For that reason, and others, the county is now proposing a partial "tax break" for homeowners, as an incentive to make renovations, or expand.

"I think we need to create every positive aspect we can for our citizens, and this is one thing that we can do to assist and perhaps even spur the economy," said Henrico County Manager Virgil Hazelett.

To qualify: the home would have to be at least forty years old. Its total assessment would have to be no more than $200,000 and the owner would have to improve the home's value by at least 20%. Do that and you'd pay no real estate taxes on the improvements for seven years.

"This, obviously, can have an impact on your tax base. And that's what we have to be very careful with in this economic condition, said Hazelett.

Hazelett believes Henrico and its residents will benefit in the long run if homeowners take the incentive.

"When that multiplies, number one the value of the community does, and number two, the value of the tax base does," said Hazelett.

But at least one homeowner sees a potential issue, where she lives.

"The problem with some of the elderly people, they don't have the resources to do the improvements," said Brickey.

The proposal will be shown to the board at its next meeting. There would then be a public hearing before the end of the year. If approved, the incentive, along with some adjustments, is expected to be in place by January first.

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